Phil Fuemana, founder of New Zealand record company Urban Pasifika Records, died Feb. 28 at his home in South Auckland after a heart attack. He was 41.

Phil Fuemana, founder of New Zealand record company Urban Pasifika Records, died Feb. 28 at his home in South Auckland after a heart attack. He was 41.

Urban Pasifika, established in 1990, launched a number of hip-hop, soul and reggae bands. The biggest of these was OMC (Otara Millionaire's Club), which included Fuemana's younger brother Pauly Fuemana. OMC's 1996 single "How Bizarre" sold 1 million units and topped charts in eight countries, according to Universal Music, which distributed the record.

Fuemana believed that the disadvantaged suburb of Otara, where he grew up, was the center of New Zealand hip-hop culture, and he intended to make a movie about its music scene. "We are the future of the international hip-hop sound; the Pacific element gives our music a distinctive edge," he told Billboard in 2000.

The label also released the compilations "Proud" (1994) and "Gifted and Maori" (2003), which featured underground acts.